Aussie Scientists: La Nina Showing Signs of Weakening

January 18, 2012 12:18 AM

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says while La Niña conditions clearly remain, some indicators have weakened. Additionally, it says the majority of climate models surveyed by the Bureau signal a gradual decline of the current La Niña, with most models suggesting an end of the event during the coming autumn season (March-May).

"Over the past fortnight, atmospheric indicators of La Niña, such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), trade winds and cloudiness over the equatorial Pacific Ocean have shifted towards more neutral values, implying some weakening of the La Niña event," says the Bureau. "Sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific has also warmed slightly from their December lows."

The Bureau says during a La Nina, tropical cyclone risk is increased for northern Australia during the cyclone season (November to April), peaking in February and March.

Juli says: One thing forecasters do agree on is the sooner La Nina is resolved, the better the chance for a return to a more normal weather pattern across the globe. But if La Nina lingers past spring, it reduces the chance of meaningful rains in the western Corn Belt and Central and Southern Plains -- prolonging the drought.

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